Recording software - ProTools vs Cubase

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by sirfunksalot, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. sirfunksalot

    sirfunksalot Guest

    I'm putting together a recording studio to record drums for the most part (so I need 8 mic preamps at least), and I've pretty much decided that I'm going with the Mackie Onyx 1620 (about $700 US) as mixer, along with the M-Audio Firewire 1814 (about $430) as digital interface. Of course I'll need mics etc but I think I'm straight in that area. I should also mention I'm running a dual processor 2.8Gig AMD MP system with dual 160GB HDDs for recording and separate system drive with XP Home.

    The choice I still have to make is which software I should go with. The new ProTools M-Powered is bound to be compatibility issue free with that hardware, and I've found it for $300. The full Cubase SX 3.0 version is a bit more ($500).

    The reason I'm considering Cubase rather than ProTools is because I heard that ProTools LE has a limited bandwidth compared to Cubase.

    ** Question 1 - is that true?? Can I assume the same will be true of the M-Powered version??

    My main concern with Cubase is:

    ** Question 2 - will I have compatibility issues with this hardware setup using Cubase? If so . . .

    ** Question 3 - can someone suggest a firewire interface that will work smoothly? All I ask is 8 analog ins, price is a consideration but I am willing to pay for something that won't let me down. Lightpipe in might be nice to have somewhere down the road, but isn't stricly necessary right now.

    ** Question 4 - anyne care to comment on their views as far as pros/cons of either software program?? Or suggest other alternatives that might work well with this hardware setup??

    Many thanks
  2. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    1. no.... but it only has 32 tracks....

    2. no.... cubase can read and write almost anything..... but if you record a track and take it to a mac based protools studio i suggest gluing all audio together starting from bar 1 and using only 24bit files not 32bit float.... (they're also a waste of disk space imo)

    3. i like the m-audio stuff.....

    4. cubase is a geat tool for composing better than pt in that field.... but pt wins every time when it comes to tracking vocals or editing and mixing.... so it depends....

    but if you go with cubase (sx3 i presume) why not equip the onyx with the firewire option.... you cannot get a shorter signal path.....

    hope this helps
  3. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    If you are just recording drums, I would assume that you're recordings are going to be taken to other studios so that the other instruments can be recorded. The decision would be easier to make if you knew what sort of system those other studios are using so that you can be sure to be compatible with them.

    Cubase and ProTools are compatible, sort of. But all of the kinks have not been completely worked out. Generally I just transfer the audio files between the programs. I don't use the OMF exports because they have never worked quite right.

    Since your mostly just recording drums, the track limit of 32 shouldn't be a problem at all.

    I would recommend ProTools just for the portability of your tracks. It's probably used more widely throughout professional studios.
  4. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Actually all you'll need to do is select all tracks and select Bounce Selected Files. Instant Stems in no time at all. This is one of the very cool features that Pro Tools doesn't have yet. It takes a lot of time to bounce individual files out of pro tools.

    Really?!!! I find Cubase or Nuendo to be more mixing friendly than PT can insert effects and Group channels in real time.Editing is a breeze in Cubase or Nuendo. I guess it's preference in the long run but I can't say that PT wins hands down though...just my opinion

    In the long run it's really down to what ever application suits you the best. I've said it before...I'll say one thing..someone else says another. Trust your judgement over others as one persons work ethics will be different than yours.

    Opus :D
  5. gnarr

    gnarr Guest

    XP Home does not support dual CPU systems.. so you're only using one now. You should really consider upgrading to XP pro.
  6. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
  7. sirfunksalot

    sirfunksalot Guest

    Thanks for the advice guys - so, to confirm:

    1. I will not have any problems at all matching up the Mackie via firewire card with Cubase?

    I didn't mention it before, but I have an Mbox already but clearly need to upgrade if I want to multitrack all of my drums. I had planned to sell it (along with ProTools LE of course), but may at this point hang on to it so I can play with shooting things back and forth between Cubase and ProTools. Which leads me to:

    2. Will I have issues if I install both Cubase and Protools on the same machine? How about having both interfaces physically connected at one time? Can I dare to dream that I may actually run both programs simultaneously? (computer specs are in my original posting, forgot to mention 1GB RAM)

    Thanks again
  8. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    solution 1: you could just exchange your mbox for a digi002... the onyx firewire option doesn't work with protools

    solution 2: run the onyx into cubase and sell the mbox

    but if you're taking your recordings to a big buck studio they'll almost certainly have protools.... pt has become almost a defacto standard in audio production.... nuendo is catching up.... but mostly in composing and a few mastering studios
  9. EricK

    EricK Guest

    ProTools handles this just fine. You need to use the "Consolidate Regions" command, not bounce to disk.
  10. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Yes, you can install both programs on one machine. I have it like that right now and if you have two sound cards...PT box and another(like the Mackie) you can run both at the same time...CPU would be used quite extensively but it can be done.

    Nuendo and Cubase now can route to other tracks as well now...

    When you do a bounce function it consolidates the tracks. Very fast! No waiting long period of time like PT does. The mathematical function in PT is a lot different than the Steinberg one.

    Cubase and Nuendo do real time mixdown. You have to select it when you choose Export Audio...Works just fine.

    I edit multiple tracks at once with ease. Just select the tracks and cut, paste, create regions, etc etc etc....

    Pro Tools has always been the mainstream application..not like it suddenly became the defacto. It's nowadays that more and more people are using Nuendo or Cubase or Logic and studios are using both.

    Opus :D
  11. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    :) iz
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    personally i would buy the M-Audio 18/14 get Cubase
    and buy the PT le that goes with the M-Audio.

    this was you get a killer product (Cubase)

    and you still have PT for those still anal retentive (and there is many)
    People who will require PT files from you.
    this also takes care of any "artist" who thinks thier stuff has to be done on PT

  13. mr_sixty_six

    mr_sixty_six Active Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    anal retentive??

    Man, are you NEVER going to find a job in pro audio that pays worth a damn. Protools (especialy) TDM is far superior to Cubase, not to say Cubase is not a good system, but PT is the industry standard for a reason. It offers more editing options is more compatible with mastering houses and other studios and has a broader range of QUALITY plugs than any of it's counterparts. Can Cubase plug into a movie editing sweet? NO. Dose Cubase use the industry standard hi-res file types like SDII? NO. Can Cubase go 100 layers deep and redraw a clipped file? NO. Can Cubase be used for ADR\Foley applications NO, it's not compatible. Does Cubase offer TRUE REALTIME 5.1 mixing and mastering NO, it doesnt even bounce using the floating points in you CPU, it consolidates. Pro Tools LE may only offer 32 tracks (Like your actually going to need more than that unless your recording an orchestra or just need to dub everything you do because your a bad musician.) is a FAR superior packege it's more compatible, has more editing features, and supports more of everthing than Cubase, sorry man but some of us have to create music in the real world and work with other industry professionals and when I'm working on a project I like the peace of mind I get when I know I can walk in any studio in the world and load it right up.


    P.S. sorry if I offended any cubase users I just get tired of being called stupid and anal for using a professional product. Cubase is a fine for home recording applications.
  14. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    Re: anal retentive??

    :roll: :roll::roll: :roll::roll: :roll: after reading your post i'm not entirely sure you know what you're taliking about.....

    and before you jump to the wrong conclusion you should know that i have thousands of hours of protools experience.....

    don't doubt the fact that i prefer protools..... but to bash some software without even knowing ANYTHING about how it works it downright stupid.... sorry if i offend you :roll:
  15. sirfunksalot

    sirfunksalot Guest

    Thanks everyone, I've ordered up the Mackie Onyx 1620 with firewire option, Cubase SX 3.0, and I'm a-keepin' my Mbox, so I can have the option of working in ProTools LE as well. This works better for me than simply upgrading to the digi 002 rack, as the mic preamps will be more numerous (I need 8 to mic the drums, which the 1620 has), and of higher quality from what I've been reading, not to mention the fact that I'll have the control surface, and a perfectly good 16 track stand alone board for about half the price of the digi 002 rack.

    I'll be sure to come back and check out your more detailed comments on this posting once I've got all my gear set up. It looks like it's a good thing this is a web discussion forum instead of a group that meets in person, I'd expect bloodshed if it was :shock:

    gnarr, thanks for the word on XP Home vs Professional, I think I'll take your advice on that as I did make the investment in having dual processors for a reason.

    Once everything arrives and I set it all up, I'll post all of my DAW system deets in the appropriate topic in this forum for those of you interested in taking a look. By the way, all my stuff is coming from Northern Sound & Light in PA, mind you I haven't received my intact shipment yet, but they slaughtered everyone on the price. You'll have to play email tag with them for pricing, though, as everything is below the mfg's MAP. Shipping to US only.

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